Monday, July 13, 2009

shades out of mini blinds- tutorial

If you have a window that needs covering and a set of old mini blinds I suggest this quick, easy and SEWING FREE project I found online.
What you need:

-Tape measure
-Unique Stitch (or comparable fabric glue - NOT HOT GLUE!)
-Mini blinds (like the $3 Target mini blinds)
-Fabric (yardage depends on the size of your window)

Step #1:
Measure you windows carefully. Then do some math and figure out how many folds you want in your shade. I like the look of a fold every 8 inches, which meant I only needed 4 slats for my small windows.
Step #2:
Let out the blinds all the way, making them the longest they can be. Carefully cut away all of the thin tilting/ladder-like strings, being very careful not to cut the thicker lift cord.
Take out the plastic plugs from the bottom of the mini blinds (I had to use a screwdriver to get mine out) and remove and put aside the thick bottom slat piece (you'll need this later). * NOTE- Mine had little knots at the end- just undo. Then simply pull off most of the slats, while leaving the few you'll need for the folds of the shade. Like I mentioned before, I only needed 4 slats for my shade.
Step #4:
Make sure the blinds are still let out all the way. Measure carefully and reinstall the thick bottom slat so that the length of your window and the full length of the shade are roughly the same. I decided to make my shade about 1" longer than my window measurement. Just to make sure it would be long enough.Trim the extra cord away off the bottom.Now cut out your fabric, using the shade skeleton as your pattern and leaving a 2.5 inch (or so) border on all sides.
Step #5:
Time to glue. Start with the top of the shade. Fold over and glue the fabric together to make a clean edge and glue that to the front of the big top rail mount. **NOTE: Do not glue the folded hem to the very ends of the rail mount. You need to be able to slip the rail into the wall-mounted brackets, so the fabric needs to stay unglued on the very ends.
Step #7:
Measure 8" (or your preferred fold length) from the top of the rail. Adjust and glue a slat into place. Continue all the way down, gluing the slats to the fabric. I glued the rounded, convex side of the slat to the fabric so there was more slat-to-fabric contact. Make sure not to glue the lift cord to the slats or the fabric.
Step #8:
Glue, turn in and glue again the three other sides of the shade to finish off all the edges. I had to play with the folds on the bottom ends to get it to look right but as long as it lays nice. Let it all dry.

And your done!! I love this project! This is in my kitchen, and I still have one more to do but here is a list of things I will do a little different on my second try:
*Wash my window before taking a picture of it!
*Get a bigger bottle of glue, the one I got was only 1 1/4 oz. and I don't think I'll have enough for one more.
* When turning the sides under and gluing to the slats, don't pull so tight, leave a little extra room.
*Iron folded edges before gluing, I was in such a hurry they don't lay so flat.
* Wait till kids are in bed!!! My kids wanted to glue everything and "help" me!!



Do you think there is a way to put fabric on both sides? I want to do this for my kitchen blind, but the window is on our deck and so you would see the back of it really easily out there. Let me know what you think.


Queen Mother

Great! Have to try it! I was wondering too about fabric on the back. Was thinking about trying it in my living room.




You´re a genius!

Interior Shutters

They look great! Your tutorial makes this project look so easy. Great job!

Andrea J

If the blind will be visible on both sides couldn't you fuse two pieces of fabric (wrong sides) together ? Or sew them (right sides together),turn and press. If you do the latter you would need to sew horizontally through fabric where the slats would be so fabric doesn't separate (or vertical seams evenly spaced would work too).


Any chance you know what this fabric is? or who makes it? Super cute!


what if you have all these mini blinds and they are the wrong size??

Cortina Romana

I loved the tips! I can make a will?
Thank you!
Claudia Telles


Create a front and back panel a quarter inch wider than desired width in window. Sew together (i wld recommend putting right sides together and sew all edges, save a 5 or 6 inch gap on bottom, then turn right side out, stitch gap. Place small grommets where slats would be, run strings through alternately, glue top and bottom after setting strings. You would only see strings. Same both sides with the exception of the mechanics on the back. A bit of paint to camouflage should do the trick. Or get a blind with a corresponding color to begin with. Love this, ty for tutorial!!


To be clear, use grommets -instead- of slats.
Also you could use a white fabric on the back instead, this would not only match a white blind, but collect less heat than a darker printed fabric. Not to mention save a bit of $$ if you happen to have white fabric around. A flat sheet would work too. You can get them all day long at our thrift ststore, new cond. No one uses flats a lot here in the south lol


Buy cheap ones... I think this tutorial assumes you are using old blinds from your own windows... what would you be doing with other peoples old, unwanted blinds?

originalTina design

Hi there, thank you for your tutorila, it is really great but I have a question about the gromets and slats. I put the grommets instead and run the string through? Would it be possible to just glue one piece of fabric on front side and one on back? Thank you


Love it!!!

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